Shorts from the Film Academies: The Heart of the Matter
Edinburgh University MSC Film, Exhibition and Curation students teamed up with EIFF Festival Director, Chris Fujiwara, to create short film programmes from the Creative Skillset Film Academies (Screen Academy Scotland [SAS], National Film & Television School [NFTS] and London Film School [LFS]). These programmes showcase new talent in creative storytelling on a journey of self-discovery, finding their style and cinematic voice.
The Heart of the Matter contains films that examine the comforts and challenges of life through various modes of filmmaking. 
Port Nasty (NFTS)
Rob Zywietz/UK/2014/9 min
At the edge of the world, death lies in wait between every crack of ice and sheet of snow. In spite of this, a small, forgotten port town fights through the darkness to survive. In the midst of this world where every person, every action, must be held accountable, a young man must prove his worth - not only to the ship's crew he dreams of joining, but to himself.
Cristina Wolf/UK/2013/5 min
A high-concept action film about Abbey's nightmarish adventure that starts when she receives a magical letter in the mail. It pulls her back to her past.
Aquarium (SAS - ECA)
Gordon Napier, Liam Callander, Francesca Challis-Thompson/UK/2014/4 min
We witness not just the physical, but also mental demands of a ballet dancer who is waiting to perform on stage.
Bear With Me (SAS - Napier)
Colin Healy/UK/2013/12 min
To escape a brutal and controlling boyfriend a young Angel leaves her home in the middle of the night. She takes the only decision left to separate herself from the Bear, to get rid of the thing that grows inside of her.
Onions for Vampires (SAS - ECA)
Anita Norfolk/Norway, UK/2013/14 min
A film about mental illness, family, and vampires in the attic.
Batavia (SAS - ECA)
Niall MacDonald, Krzysztof Kubik, Syed Aziz/UK/2014/3 min
On the 27th October 1628, the newly built Batavia set sail from Holland to East India. A voyage of enlightenment and hope... that discovers only darkness and despair.
Out of the Ash (SAS - ECA)
Sandy Garfunkel/UK, USA/2013/14 min
After being robbed at gunpoint a man turns the tables on his mugger, but in trying to teach the attacker a lesson ends up confronting his own devastating memories of a childhood lost.
The Library of Burned Books (LFS)
Alasdair Beckett-King/UK/2013/9 min
The Fire Wardens march and the children stand in line for their chance to toss the banned books into the ritual flames. A young girl refuses to join in and runs from the furnace. The headmaster tries to protect her and tells her an impossible story about a chimney sweep and the Library of Burned Books. She listens. But a Fire Warden is listening, too.
Miss Todd (NFTS)
Kristina Lee/UK/2013/13 min
1910. Aviation Meet, Mineola Flying Fields, New York City. Miss E. Lillian Todd - history’s first female aeronautical engineer - is making last minute checks before her plane takes to the skies. She has fought many battles to make it onto the airfield today. However her biggest challenge is yet to come, as the day’s proceedings don’t go quite as anyone could have imagined.
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